The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) announced it will be following recommended Zika virus guidelines and ask donors who have traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and parts of South America to postpone blood donation until 28 days after their return.
The AABB, a blood bank association, issued the guidelines to its members.
“Our top priority is maintaining the safety of our blood supply,” said Dr. Rachel Beddard, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center medical director. “Because this is a rapidly evolving situation, we’ll keep the public informed as guidelines and policies are updated.”
STBTC estimates the changes will result in the loss of as many as 10,000 donations a year in the South Texas collection area.
“Now more than ever, it’s important that anyone who’s healthy and able to donate come in and give so we all can continue to help save lives,” Dr. Beddard said. “It’s imperative that we maintain the blood supply to the hospitals we serve and to make sure we have enough blood on the shelves to treat people who are injured or ill.”
Dr. Beddard is specifically asking O negative and O positive donors, as well as people who have never donated before, to step up because it’s critical to have these particular blood supplies available for pregnant women and newborns.
Donors can call or make an appointment online at one of seven convenient donation sites or at one of hundreds of mobile drives across South Texas.
Donors must be well on the day of donation and should report any illness in the days after a donation to STBC.
To make an appointment, donors can visit SouthTexasBlood.org or call 855-326-5765.
About the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center: STBTC is the largest nonprofit blood center in South Texas, providing blood products and blood resources management services to hospitals, dialysis centers and emergency clinics in 67 Texas counties and beyond. Since 1974, our patients and customers have depended on us to have available an adequate blood supply and to be the source of transfusion medicine expertise and research assistance.
About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio-based nonprofit corporation that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is rooted in the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, which has a proud history of serving the South Texas region and beyond for more than 40 years. BBG is committed to supporting groundbreaking research, addressing unmet clinical needs and enabling the development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products. Visit us at www.biobridgeglobal.org.